Calendar for the week

thursday
january 8
Florida Philharmonic with Cachao and Nestor Torres: The Florida Philharmonic goes Latin tonight with a program titled Serie Latina de Mœsica Pop Miami. That mouthful means Latin Pop Music Series Miami. And while we don't exactly know what songs will be performed, we do know who will be doing the performing: flute-playing phenomenon Nestor Torres and vigorous bassist Israel "Cachao" López. Oh, and the Florida Philharmonic under the baton of conductor Duilio Dobrin will be there to help out. Showtime is 8:00 p.m. at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $20. Call 673-7000. (NK)

Key West Literary Seminar: Key West has long been a haven for more than just pirates and Jimmy Buffett. Writers and artists have congregated there since the Nineteenth Century, seduced by the slow pace, balmy weather, and relaxed ambiance. This four-day-long symposium affords professionals and serious amateurs an opportunity to participate in ten-person workshops (many of which are already sold out) about illustrating, writing, or editing; listen to panel discussions with famous authors; and, of course, attend parties. (After all, this is Key West.) "Once Upon a Time: Children's Literature in the Late Twentieth Century" is this year's theme, and luminaries include Babar the Elephant creator Laurent de Brunhoff, chronicler of adolescent angst Judy Blume, two-time Newberry Award-winner E.L. Konigsburg, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Wilbur. It will cost you $350 for the seminars only. If you're lucky enough to get into some workshops, you'll have to pay $450. And if you want to do both, be prepared to fork over $725. Call 888-293-9291. (NK)

friday
january 9
Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair: Thirty-five contemporary art dealers are having a three-day affair at the Raleigh Hotel (1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) this weekend. The second annual Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair presents an intimate (and quality-controlled) alternative to the gargantuan Art Miami '98 being held simultaneously at the Miami Beach Convention Center (see below). Starting today dealers will redecorate their rooms -- works by up-and-coming artists will be displayed on hotel room walls, laid out on the beds, and hung in the showers. The works -- small paintings, photographs, and other media -- are priced to sell at $100 and up. (Last year the art flew out the doors, so go early.) For both collectors and browsers, the fair will likely bring the broadest selection of new contemporary art to be seen all year in Miami. Participating dealers include New York's Pat Hearn and Morris Healy, Elba Benitez from Madrid, S‹o Paulo's Luisa Strina, and Miami's own Fredric Snitzer, Ambrosino, and Emilio Navarro galleries. The Gramercy International is open today through Sunday from noon to 8:00 p.m. Admission is ten dollars. Call 534-6300. (JC)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Did too many trips to the circus as a child engender in you an inordinate fear of clowns? Well, get over it and take the tykes to see what is still billed as the Greatest Show on Earth. (Those words, now a registered trademark, were P.T. Barnum's. We won't get into what he said about suckers.) This year's extravaganza stars Zusha, Queen of the Nile, the world's only performing hippopotamus; the daredevil Guerrero family, who will form a seven-person human pyramid on the high wire; and, inevitably, clowns -- lots of them, most likely emerging from scads of tiny cars and doing hilarious and original things like bonking each other on the head with clubs. If your kids are fledgling circus performers, make sure you take them to the show an hour early so they can play on the arena floor and test their skills at flying on a trapeze, walking a low wire, bouncing on a bungee, and (oy!) clowning around. The circus runs through January 19 at the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.). Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. today through Sunday, plus Tuesday and Wednesday; performances take place at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $9 to $18. Call 530-4400. (NK)

Art Miami '98: Psst! Hey, you wanna buy some art? They've got all the art you could ever want and more at this five-day event. We're not referring to paint-by-numbers stuff or those lovely renderings of dogs playing poker or even portraits of Elvis on black velvet. No, at Art Miami '98 you'll find works by internationally known artists such as David Hockney, Donald Judd, Fernando Botero, Wifredo Lam, Louise Nevelson, Frida Khalo, Pablo Picasso, and others. A sort of flea market (but don't expect bargain prices) for the artsy set, this massive exhibition includes approximately 100 dealers, both established and emerging, from more than 25 countries. Consider yourself more an observer than a collector? Then just stroll around, take a look, and don't miss the fair's latest addition (as if it needs to be any bigger): the projects/installation section, which highlights the site-specific work of sixteen young artists who use video, light, sound, sculpture, and computers to get their message across. The exposition runs from noon to 8:00 p.m. today and tomorrow and continues Sunday and Monday from noon to 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Dr.). Admission is ten dollars. Call 673-7311. (NK)

Key West Literary Seminar: See Thursday.

saturday
january 10
New World Symphony: MTT is back, conducting the works of CD and PT. Well-traveled maestro Michael Tilson Thomas returns to Miami (briefly) to lead the New World Symphony in works by Claude Debussy and Peter Tchaikovsky. On the program: Debussy's Images and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 in F minor. Concerts are tonight at 8:00 and tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre (541 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Tickets range from $19 to $46. Call 673-2302. (NK)

Key West Literary Seminar: See Thursday.
Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair: See Friday.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: See Friday.
Art Miami '98: See Friday.

sunday
january 11
Public Works: Staggering numbers of Americans were out of work during the Depression -- except for artists. Trying to lift the country from its doldrums, Franklin Roosevelt conceived the New Deal, a program that was meant to give the economy a jump-start. Workers constructed bridges and buildings and paved miles of roads, and artists -- more than 10,000 of them, between 1933 and 1943 -- were commissioned to create a multitude of works that included sculptures, prints, easel paintings, and murals. Many federal buildings were embellished with murals (2566, in fact) thanks to competitions sponsored by the Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project. Reflecting themes such as democratic values and technological progress, art was now accessible to all. The Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) examines the history and continuing role of public art in this country by making more than 60 paintings and works on paper from this era available as the museum inaugurates "Public Works." Also on view is a 1930s-style mural by artist Nicole Eisenman created as part of a series of collaborative public art programs sponsored by the Miami Arts Project and the Drawing Center in New York City. The exhibition continues through April 26. Admission is five dollars. Call 531-1001 for hours. (NK)

Key West Literary Seminar: See Thursday.
Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair: See Friday.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: See Friday.
Art Miami '98: See Friday.
New World Symphony: See Saturday.

monday
january 12
Art Deco Weekend Festival: Would somebody please rechristen this event already? What began as a weekend street festival many moons over Miami ago has now grown into an entire week of 1930s-theme fun. Yes, Art Deco Weekend, produced by the good folks at the Miami Design Preservation League, now encompasses seven days' worth of lectures, films, and festivities. This year's theme, "Always in Fashion," will be the starting point for a series of talks starting tonight at 7:00 at the Oceanfront Auditorium (1001 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach) by hotshots such as W magazine writer and cosmetics company executive Irene Moore; fabulous fashion editor and now South Beach resident Mary Russell; art dealer, collector, and ArtForum publisher Charles Cowles; award-winning food writer Christopher Idone; and Valerie Steele, chief curator of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After each presentation, movies from the 1930s such as The Women, Dinner at Eight, Swing Time, and Roberta will be screened. On Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. the Shadow Lounge (1532 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) hosts the black-tie Moon Over Miami Ball, where you can swing to the sounds of the Melton Mustafa Orchestra, feast your eyes on a fashion show by designer Gerry Kelly, and partake of a buffet by South Beach's best chefs. Tickets to the ball cost $55. Lectures and films are free. See "Calendar Listings" for complete details. (NK)

Art Miami '98: See Friday.

tuesday
january 13
Images of El Salvador: Thomas Long has many memories of his time in Central America -- especially a chunk of shrapnel in his lung. A reporter and photographer who has covered the region since 1985 for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, CBS News, and others, Long was recording audio of a battle when a mortar exploded near his truck. Long also carries some less painful but nonetheless poignant memories of his time in El Salvador in the form of photographs he took of embattled Salvadorans, women, children, and men whose everyday lives consisted of combat, survival, and little else. See Long's potent images at Stephen Watt Gallery (8 NE 40th St.). While you're there, also get acquainted with the thought-provoking work of photographer Abby Gennet, who graphically explores women's emotions by re-creating shocking events that have been sensationalized by the media (to wit: the teenager who gave birth in the bathroom during her prom, then returned to the dance). Similar to photographer Cindy Sherman, Gennet is her own model. Call 573-7020. (NK)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: See Friday.
Public Works: See Sunday.
Art Deco Weekend Festival: See Monday.

wednesday
january 14
Mark Murphy: If you're down with Down Beat magazine and its surveys, then you may know that for the past two years its readers have named jazz singer Mark Murphy best male vocalist. This recognition, along with six Grammy nominations, is just the latest accolade in a recording career that spans more than 40 years. Throughout his career the sixtysomething ultrasmooth crooner has embellished his material with wild scatting and a rap style; he's even incorporated the words of Jack Kerouac. Sounds like it all adds up to a Felliniesque Fabulous Baker Boys kind of night. Get to the Van Dyke Cafe (846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) tonight and tomorrow and check it out for yourself as Murphy performs with the Don Wilner Trio. Showtimes are 9:00 and 11:00 p.m. There's no charge for general admission; ten dollars buys you a table seat. Call 534-3600. (LB)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: See Friday.
Public Works: See Sunday.
Art Deco Weekend Festival: See Monday.
Images of El Salvador: See Tuesday.

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